Sewing machines are many times faster than even the most accomplished hand sewer. Modern sewing machines create seams that can be measured in feet per second, while the average hand stitcher sews at a much slower pace.
Faster stitching translates to more items being produced or more free time available.
No matter how skilled, any hand sewer will have stitches that are marginally smaller or larger than other stitches. This is the nature of hand sewing, because it is all done without any specialized measuring devices; stitch length is determined by eye.
Sewing machines always sew a seam with every stitch the exact same length. Regular stitches create a stronger seam, making clothing that will last longer.
Beginning with the zigzag stitch and moving on to today's computerized machines, sewing machines can make any number of decorative stitches on fabric. Rather than doing time-consuming embroidery stitches on clothing and home decor, sewing machine operators can add borders and designs to fabric items in a matter of minutes.
For many people, having a sewing machine means they will have extra money in their household. Even as far back as the mid-1800s, housewives would take in sewing to earn extra money.
Today's home sewing machine operators can create custom clothing, quilts and crafts to sell in stores, craft fairs and online.